Note: This is the second part of a two part series on our attachment and memory connections with extended family history . Part one is here. In our household we LOVE the UPS guy...AKA the brown truck man. He delivers almost all of the fun stuff in our life (read into that sensory and therapeutic supplies in overwhelming amounts) and he hold the keys to the van you get to drive standing up with the doors open. Our rout is regular enough that we have one of two drivers - one is a homeschool dad and other (this one) thinks we are simply a hoot and encourages the guys (and girlies) to ....well...act out their manliness. It's all good - and all part of pitching in and getting the job done when the big deliveries arrive around here. At least I can always give him grief when he hassles me and mention that I HAVE ordered full sized claw foot tubs in boxes big enough for several dead bodies and entire playgrounds of rubber mulch which have been delivered....if those little boxes are too heavy for him to manage on his truck. Or I can threaten to replace ALL of the childrens weighted blankets/vests/toys at once again....those six boxes almost killed him (think 24x36 rectangles filled with sand. :) But I digress and torment our friends....which is all good relational stuff and builds memory as well as attachment but isn't really what this post is about (or maybe it is.)
Once the boxes arrived and we started unpacking the first thing the children started connecting with was the smell. I couldn't have planned it better. I had used up all my moms old towels and wash cloths to fill in the gaps around the treasures - those pieces of cloth started weaving together the first bridges to memory - the smell of grandmas house here in our house - wrapped around these special things. For some of the kids I had used a promised over load of candy from their favorite candy store as the ' surprise' to help them hold it together while mommy was gone. It worked beautifully - it was the emotional support they needed - the goal to focus on - the driving force and tangible reminder that there was a reward that they really wanted- and it gave them a reason to survive until I came back - it helped them not fall into despair that I was not with them. I had gone to bring back the special candy. :) That box had traveled with me on the airplane - those bags had been unpacked before we even exchanged kissed and hugs - that was the proof that I had done what I had promised and not just returned.....but come home with a boat load of candy to share! (positive memory bank overload for those who love candy.)
Then we got down to bringing memory into our own home. Things sorted, filed and organized - safe places found and treasures fondled. Five things were broken in transit...an angel quickly glued, a terracotta warrior, grandpas pipe (which glue repaired also), a water glass, and a striped bowl. Everything else arrived in amazing shape and is slowly filtering into our life or is organized into the history section of the basement. The best things are the daily ones....the fox door knocker is on the back door greeting my friends and the mantle clock is chiming the 15's round the clock in the kitchen - but those are separate posts. Those are special deep-heart things. For now the oldest daughter has become keeper of the textiles- the chopsticks, stainless ware and water glasses that wrapped around my childhood are weaving into my children's and the brasses and coins that made me smile are bringing light to my children's eyes.
These are memories - touchstones that I want to weave into our life in ways that ground their hearts in our home and further back....these are the photos...these are the spoons....these are the stories and the people and the weight of the proof that we are loved not just by people but by the God who builds families and creates the desire to share a history with those who went before us and chose a pattern of life well lived.